Connects: Great Falls, MT, to Dawson Creek, BC
Routes#: I-15, Alberta Highways 2, 3, 4, 43, BC Highway 2
Length: 872 miles/1,403 km
Road Surface: Paved
Season: Open all year
Maps (2 detailed pdf files available):
Great Falls, MT to Edmonton, AB
Edmonton, AB to Dawson Creek, BC
The East Access Route in Alberta is one of 3 access routes to the Alaska Highway logged in The MILEPOST® (the others are the West and Central Access Routes both which depart Washington and travel through British Columbia). This was the first and only access route to Dawson Creek, BC—and the start of the Alaska Highway—when the Alaska Highway opened to civilian traffic in 1948. The original route differed somewhat from today’s because Highway 43 was not completed until 1955. Instead, motorists had to drive north from Edmonton via Highway 2 to Athabasca, then west to High Prairie, then south to Grande Prairie, AB. Today’s route goes directly from Edmonton to Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek via Highway 43 through Whitecourt and Valleyview. Most of the East Access Route is multi-lane, divided highway.
The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log
Miles from Great Falls (GF) shown.
GF 0 GREAT FALLS (pop. 58,950); all services. Head north on Interstate Highway 15.
GF 85 Exit 363 to Business Loop 15 to SHELBY (pop. 3,376); all services.
GF 86 Exit 364 to Lewis & Clark RV Park.
GF 120 U.S.–Canada border (Sweetgrass, MT/Coutts, AB). Shared U.S.–Canada Port-of-Entry; 24-hour customs and immigration.
GF 131.5 Milk River Travel Information Centre has helpful staff and interesting exhibits.
GF 131.8 Municipality-owned Under 8 Flags Campground (seasonal).
GF 182.5 LETHBRIDGE (pop. 98,198) at junction of Highways 3, 4 and 5; all services. Visitor information.
Attractions include Fort Whoop-Up, a re-creation of the original trading post, with historical reenactments and wagon rides (pictured at left); the Galt Museum; and Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
GF 187.8 Access to Bridgeview RV Resort; camping.
GF 216 FORT MACLEOD (pop. 3,117), “Home of the North West Mounted Police,” at junction of Highways 1 and 3; all services. Visitor information at the Fort Museum of the Northwest Mounted Police (closed Nov.–April).
GF 218 Junction. Head north on Highway 2 North for Calgary.
GF 219 Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
GF 242 CLARESHOLM (pop. 3,758); all services. Lazy J Motel, phone 1-888-625-3899.
GF 266.6 NANTON (pop. 2,132); all services. Home of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
GF 282.8 Exit 194B west for HIGH RIVER (pop. 13,584); all services.
GF 292 Exit 209 to Okotoks Erratic, located west of town of Okotoks. It is the largest known glacial erratic in the world.
GF 307.6 Northbound travelers take Exit 234 to bypass Calgary via Highway 201/Stoney Trail, reconnecting with Highway 2 north of the city.
GF 319 CALGARY (pop. 1,149,552), one of Alberta’s 2 major population centers; all services available. Visitor information.
Major attractions include Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary Zoo, Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary, Calgary Tower and the Hangar Flight Museum. The Calgary Stampede takes place in July.
GF 322 Junction with Trans-Canada Highway 1 west to Banff (79 miles), Lake Louise (113 miles) and Icefields Parkway to Jasper (258 miles). Continue north on Highway 2 for Edmonton.
GF 328 Southbound travelers exit east on Stoney Trail/Highway 201 to bypass Calgary and reconnect to Highway 2 south of the city.
GF 335 Exit 282 to AIRDRIE (pop. 49,560), all services.
GF 344 Exit 295 east to Highways 72 and 9 to Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller (60 miles) and Canadian Badlands. The Canadian Badlands Passion Play is presented in Drumheller in July.
GF 403.5 Exit 391/McKenzie Road to “Gasoline Alley”, a tourist service area on frontage roads on both sides of Highway 2; all services.
GF 407 RED DEER (pop. 100,418); all services.
GF 414 Exit 405B Highway 11A West to Sylvan Lake and north via RR 275 to RV There Yet Campground.
GF 461 WETASKIWIN (pop. 12,665) via Exit 482A Highway 13 East; all services available. Visitor information. Attractions include the Provincial Reynolds-Alberta Museum.
GF 488 Exit 525 Devon Bypass/Highways 19 and 60 bypasses Edmonton. DEVON (pop. 6,510), 8.4 miles east of Highway 2, has all services. Area attractions: Devonian Botanic Garden, Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre. Camping at Mile 21.4 at Glowing Embers RV Park & Travel Center near where the Highway 60 junctions with Yellowhead Highway 16A.
GF 508 Northbound travelers exit to Anthony Henday Drive North/Highway 216 to bypass downtown Edmonton. From Highway 216 you can exit east at 87 Ave. NW for access to West Edmonton Mall (situated between 178 St. NW and 170 St. NW); more than 800 stores and services, world’s largest indoor amusement park, and World Waterpark, home of the world’s largest indoor wave pool and a waterslide (pictured at right).
GF 510 EDMONTON (pop. 877,926), capital of Alberta; all services. Visitor information.
Attractions include Fort Edmonton Park, Muttart Conservatory, Art Gallery of Alberta, the Alberta Legislature Building (free guided tour), the Royal Alberta Museum, Telus World of Science and Edmonton Valley Zoo. Edmonton is known as “Canada’s Festival City” for its many annual events.
GF 515 Junction of Highway 16A West with Devon Bypass/Highway 60; access south to Glowing Embers RV Park & Travel Center.
GF 520 SPRUCE GROVE (pop. 23,326); all services. Area attraction: Spruce Grove Grain Elevator. Camping: Turn left on Century Road for Diamond Grove RV Campground; head south on Century Road across railroad tracks and continue 0.6 mile/1 km to off leash dog park, then turn right into Diamond Grove RV Park.
GF 524 STONY PLAIN (pop. 15,051); all services. Visitor Information at the Dog Rump Creek Railway Station. Attraction: outdoor murals.
GF 527.5 First of 2 exits westbound for Spring Lake; Drive south 0.2 mile via RR 14 to stop sign, turn right on Parkland and drive 1 mile to stop sign, then turn left on RR 15 and drive 2 miles south to park entrance.on Range Road 14, then west on Township Road 524.
GF 528.7 Beach Corner; gas/diesel. Second access to Spring Lake south 2.9 miles via RR 15.
GF 533 Junction of Highway 16A with Highway 43 North. Northbound travelers exit for Highway 43 North to Whitecourt, Valleyview and Grande Prairie.
GF 542 ONOWAY (pop 1,039); all services.
GF 585 MAYERTHORPE (pop. 1,398); food, gas, lodging. Fallen Four Memorial Park.
GF 611 WHITECOURT (pop. 10,574); all services. Camping at Lion’s Club Campground. Visitor information at Whitecourt & District Forest Interpretive Centre (across from Whitecourt Lions Campground).
GF 664 FOX CREEK (pop. 1,969); all services.
GF 693.3 LITTLE SMOKY (pop. 34) to south; quilters make sure to stop in Little Smoky and visit Pink Petunia’s Patchworks Quilt Shop. Waskahigan River Provincial Recreation area to north; camping.
GF 718 VALLEYVIEW (pop. 1,972); all services. Visitor information. Located at the junction with Highways 49/2 north to Peace River and the Mackenzie Route to Northwest Territories (Deh Cho Route).
GF 783 Junction with Highway 2 north to Grimshaw, Mile Zero of the Mackenzie Highway to Northwest Territories (Deh Cho Route).
GF 787 GRANDE PRAIRIE (pop. 68,556); all services. Visitor information at the Centre 2000 building, off of the Highway 43 Bypass; look for the 40-foot-high sundial at the intersection (pictured here) that marks the entrance to Centre 2000.
Camping at Country Roads RV Park, Camp Tamarack RV Park, McGoverns RV & Marine Campground and Nitehawk Wilderness RV Park and Bear Paw Campground.
GF 788 Junction with Highway 40 (Bighorn Route) south 118 miles to Grande Cache, 204 miles to Yellowhead Highway 16.
GF 802 Turnoff for the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, a 41,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that includes new Alberta species never displayed before.
GF 812 BEAVERLODGE (pop. 2,365); all services. Visitor information in the cultural centre next to the giant beaver statue; gift shop, tea room.
GF 823 HYTHE (pop. 827); food, gas, lodging, camping.
GF 844 Alberta–British Columbia border.
GF 845 Junction with Heritage Highway 52, which leads southwest 91 miles to Tumbler Ridge.
GF 849 Turnoff to north for Swan Lake Provincial Park (2.5 miles); camping.
GF 862 POUCE COUPE (pop. 741); food store, museum/visitor centre, gas and lodging.
GF 869 DAWSON CREEK, Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.